This year we decided to do turkey parts instead of a whole turkey and it turned out to be a great decision. We picked up 1/2 breasts, turkey legs and turkey thighs from the butcher (all with the bone in and skin on) and then I set about experimenting until I found a way to roast them that I thought would make everybody forget that there wasn’t a huge turkey presentation. My brother-in-law declared this the best turkey he’s ever had. I heard whispers around the table to the tune of “did you try the turkey?” so I think it’s safe to say that this one’s a winner.
Since it’s now past Thanksgiving I’m going to give you all the recipe for one half breast, which you can of course double, triple, quadruple as needed. I would count one package of legs or as 1/2 of a 1/2 breast so the mixture below would be for 4 legs.
1/2 turkey breast
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried powdered savory
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 stalk celery
Mix spices and salt together in a small dish.
Rinse turkey breast and pat dry. Rub spice mixture over the turkey breast or under the skin. Set aside overnight or proceed on to roast immediately.
Peel carrot and onion and slice into large chunks. Cut celery into large chunks. Place vegetables in bottom of roasting pan to form a bed for the turkey. Place turkey breast on top of vegetables and roast in a covered pan until the juices run clear when pierced with fork and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Note 1: I had 4 breasts, 4 legs and 2 thighs in the roasting pan and roasted everything for 2 and 1/2 hours. It was falling off the bone tender and not dry at all.
Note 2: The second time I made turkey this way I was all out of carrots, onions and celery (it was the week after Thanksgiving and I was still trying to use up leftovers so while I ran out and picked up turkey breasts I forgot to pick up the fixin’s) so I made a bed of quartered apples and – well lets just say WOW!
Let rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before carving. The temperature will continue to rise to 170 to 175 degrees F while resting.
Smash and mash 4 garlic cloves with the sea salt until it’s a paste, then mix with remaining spices.
Stir 1 to 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil into spice mixture.
Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper to spice mixture.
Use dried crushed rosemary in place of the savory.
Use 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence in place of the spices.
Use 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning in place of the spices.
Use 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning in place of the spices.